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Applied Linguistics

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Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:16 am    Post subject: Applied Linguistics Reply with quote

OK, so the more I think about it, the less I feel that I'd actually want to teach in Indonesia, and yet somehow the more I think about it, the more I want to know if I legally can teach English there. The question is bothering me far more than any hypothetical legal question really should, and while it's a topic that has been addressed before, here (including by myself) I still haven't found a direct answer to my particular situation.

Now I'm an applied linguistics major. I studied this because I decided freshman year I wanted to do TESOL, and considered that to be the most useful discipline to prepare me for it. Of course in hindsight, doing an education major and teacher certification program would have been the smartest move, but c'est la vie. (Actually, I think part of the reason I care so much about Indonesia's work laws is that it rankles a bit to think that the government of the world's fourth-largest country considers knowing the nuts-and-bolts of a language less important than having read books in it for credit.)

The opinion of the Wall Street Institute Indonesia (which according to other threads is the only school that actually obeys the law) when A.W. was in charge of recruiting was a simple one: that only English majors are allowed. But the opinion of the guy who's currently in charge of recruiting, based on their current ads, is that linguistics (or education) majors is OK, as long as it's linguistics (or education) "in English."

So the questions I've had, the questions I still have are:
1. Can applied linguistics majors get jobs in Indonesia (applied linguistics seems to be a far less popular discipline than English).
2. If so, under what conditions? What exactly does it mean to have a degree in "Linguistics in English" as the WSI Indonesia's ad currently puts it? I've never heard of "Linguistics in" anything, though certainly there are some students who focus on a specific non-English language, and/or double-major in Arabic or Sign Language. Pretty much all my work, including my thesis, is on the English language. (This is true of almost all undergraduate linguistics students.)

Durian Tango wrote:
The government is asking to see the actual degree you have and if it doesn't say 'English' somewhere on it, then they ask to see the transcripts. If the majority of your classes are not in English, then it's a no-go.

Which explains the criterion for what makes an "English" degree, and shows a level of effort slightly greater than I'd expect of government bureaucrats, but still doesn't explain what, if anything, qualifies as an acceptable linguistics or education degree.

I'm not really expecting an answer (I suppose if I really wanted to know I could apply to the WSI Indonesia, though that seems like a waste of their time and a bit of a dick move on my part, if I'm not planning to accept the job), but damn is it ever driving me crazy. So I'm going to try asking again, with a bit more detail on my exact background, on the off chance someone can answer it.

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Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly Q, none of us are privy to the irrational, illogical, and nonsensical whims of the authorities here. What might be acceptable one day is not the next and vice-versa. I doubt they even know themselves what can be accepted and what can't.

If you want to work in a school (i.e. teaching kids) then you'd have no problems getting a work visa; these places have become the refuge of the non-degree holding teacher, such is the ease with which schools can get visas for their staff.

If you want to work elsewhere, well, you seem to be aware of the inconsistencies that exist. What I would say is that qualifications don't seem to make a great deal of difference in Indonesia (the better international schools aside). Two exceptions would be IALF (a language school) and Binus University. The latter definitely requires an MA to teach there and I'd guess the former would view it favourably. They may be two options worth considering.
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